Why I’m not a joiner

The pissing match over the British National Union of Journalists effort to slap a code of conduct on newspaper relations with bloggers and citizens is getting pissier. Neil McIntosh takes apart NUJ old fogie Adam Christie when he tries to take apart Emily Bell’s taking apart of the witless witness code. Here’s the best bit, from Christie:

I came away from last week’s Roundtable event feeling very old. Apart from Bill Hagerty, I think I may well have been the oldest there. The largely young contingent representing The Guardian did not seem to have seen a broader picture, or the “fanzine revolution” of the 70s, when Letraset and cheap photocopying caused many similar concerns as those we are seeing today. Their (lack of ) appreciation of history and their proximity to what they are doing worries me.

The poor old sod thinks the internet is a newfangled mimeograph machine. Reading this guy is like a fountain of youth.

  • I hate the pettiness of the code they wish to impose, but I do like that they feel threatened by blogging, and consider blogging writing.

    I personally feel that there are things I’ve put on my blog that I could easily hand in for a grade in class, or with some tweaking would attempt to publish, stuff like a short essay on Lincoln I have tucked away in my blog. Wish we could get some academics to be more partial to blogging, as opposed to (rightly) feeling it threatening.

  • Mike Cane

    You’ve missed his point. He is absolutely correct using the fanzine model.

    Were you aware of online back in 1980-82? Google videotex and you’ll see these same dinos thought *they* would be our online gatekeepers with stuff like NAPLPS.

    Look at now.

    Websites *do* equal fanzines. (OK, you want it brainier: Samizdat, then!)

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  • Damn economics. Living in London, (and having received the update on Witness Contributors from the NUJ), I figure this whole palava can be explained away using good old incentives.

    Print media circulation is down (despite their protestations to the contrary), and if bloggers and ‘citizen journalists’ are runnning around just giving news away, how the hell is any self-respecting mainstream media outlet to make a buck?

    The bell started ringing for these guys when Reuters were the last to move out of Fleet Street. Guess most of them were at the pub and thought it meant ‘last drinks’.

  • Mike G

    Mike Cane is right, fanzines and punk-era xeroxing were the blogs of their day. Plus, remember, this is England where they practically had revolution over putting in electronic typesetting. They really did experience the kind of seismic cultural shift OVER minor technology issues that we’re experiencing FROM them.

  • Who cares what a bunch of vain, self-regarding propagandists think?

    ‘Journalists’? Someone who recycles industry, NGO, government and security state press releases and propaganda on a daily basis; kind of like defecation, but smellier.

  • Will Pollard

    as memory serves there could be some comparison with previous times in London

    if you included a logo for the ‘underground and alternative press syndicate europe’ you could cut up any US source and paste it in to a publication

    this was for litho, so not very interactive

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